[Air-L] Call for Papers: Broadcast News and the Active Citizen, University of Leeds

Stephen Coleman S.Coleman at leeds.ac.uk
Thu Oct 11 14:11:42 PDT 2007


Broadcast News and the Active Citizen
Monday, January 7, 2008
University of Leeds

Keynote Speakers:
- Peter Horrocks, Head of BBC Television News
- Professor John Downing, Southern Illinois University

The Institute for Communications Studies of the University of Leeds invites paper proposals for a one day conference entitled Broadcast News and the Active Citizen.

Broadcast news institutions are responding in unprecedented ways to a public
which increasingly produces and consumes its own journalism. These trends challenge traditional notions of citizenship and the role of broadcasters. While enabling exploration of a broad range of topics related to these phenomena, we seek to develop insights, in particular, into how major news broadcasters at the local and national levels can adapt to an increasingly active, engaged, and demanding public.  The conference will be
structured to promote dialogue between academic researchers and leading broadcast news professionals with an interest in these issues.

The conference will explore the changing relationship between Broadcast News
and Citizenship through a focus on three key themes.  We invite proposals for research papers corresponding to the following themes:

Theme One

What does "broadcast news" mean in the new media age? Further questions to
be explored in this strand might include:

- In what ways must broadcast news adapt to an increasingly engaged, participatory, and demanding public?

- In the age of the citizen reporter, is "professional" news broadcasting endangered?

- Does the migration of broadcasters to new distribution platforms and new production practices signal a new approach, or a cynical attempt to use gimmicks to hold a steadily disinterested audience?

Theme Two

How has participatory journalism challenged notions of citizenship in the UK? Further questions to be explored in this strand might include:

- Is a new kind of citizenship emerging, and how can traditional broadcasters engage with it?

- Are viewer contributed content and citizen journalism the same things, and do either genuinely challenge traditional hierarchical models?

- Have broadband access and the rise of participatory online media challenged the traditional dominance of broadcast news, especially in local communities?

- How are broadcasters meeting those challenges?

Theme Three

How communication is now 'mediated' (in both senses of the word) between traditional media and audiences/local communities/citizens? Further questions to be explored in this strand might include:

- Are traditionally marginalized communities finding a new voice through citizen journalism?

- Are emerging participatory media practices permitting greater democratic engagement at the local level, or simply providing another route to the audience for traditional media giants?

- Is any new media journalism genuinely "alternative"?

- Do responses by major media to an increasingly active public threaten or encourage diversity?

To submit a paper proposal, please email an abstract which does not exceed
500 words to the organisers before November 2, 2007. Acceptance decisions
will be made in early November.

Postgraduate researchers who do not wish to submit a full paper proposal are encouraged to participate in a postgraduate seminar to present and discuss research in progress related to the conference themes. The seminar will be held on the morning of Tuesday, 8 January. Please contact the organisers for details.

Email: news.citizen at leeds.ac.uk

Website: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/news-citizen <https://outlook.leeds.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/news-citizen> 

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